6 Simple Observations to Save the Day
If you are not in the habit already, be aware of the condition of your vehicle. Remember to do a quick visual inspection of your car as you approach it in a parking lot. This is a good habit to develop for safety and for saving$
- Notice if the tires appear equally inflated or do the sidewalls appear to bulge more on one than the others. For just a couple bucks you should keep a tire pressure gauge tucked in the door or console. Tires that are only a couple pounds low in pressure can eat up a portion of your gas mileage, wear out faster and are a safety risk.
2. Make note of any fresh fluids and their location under the car — and their color if you can tell. Red fluid is often from the transmission. A Neon greenish-yellow liquid is antifreeze in most cars. **Important: Dogs love the taste of this stuff but it’s poisonous so don’t let them lap it up off the driveway.)
3. Check your lights — Leave your lights on when you stop for gas and check your tail lights and blinkers. Have a passenger hit the brakes for you a couple times to check those bulbs too. This can save you the cost of a traffic ticket.
4. Since you are at the gas station, check your engine oil. If it is translucent and you can easily see the hash marks on the dipstick through it, then it’s OK. If it is very dark and you can’t see through it you should stop in to see you mechanic and have them take a look.
5. While the hood is still open, look at the coolant level in the reservoir for the radiator. ** Note: Don’t open the radiator. It’s hot and under pressure and you can hurt yourself.
6. Still under the hood, glance over at the brake fluid and power steering fluid reservoirs. Make sure the fluid falls between the high and low marks on the reservoirs. (Have your mechanic show you where these things are and what you should be looking for)